“I’m a hard-bitten professional…When I say professional, I don’t mean cold & unfeeling & automatic. I mean someone who is prepared to take the risks of the evening without making any excuses…” Leonard Cohen 1974

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I’m a hard-bitten professional. I’m not just some traveling youth who just picked up his harp. I go from stage to stage and I sing my songs … When I say professional, I don’t mean cold and unfeeling and automatic. I mean someone who is prepared to take the risks of the evening without making any excuses for them.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen in His Own Words by Jim Devlin. 1998

Note: Originally posted December 17, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I never had a plan. I had a certain kind of faith…If the work was good enough or, more specifically, if the work was appropriate to move into the world, it would move into the world…” Leonard Cohen

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I’ve never had a strategy. To me it was perfectly natural that my work would penetrate and find an audience in the popular culture and I think you can approach it in any way you want. I think it’s important not to let it tyrannize you. I don’t think we’re completely creatures of that culture and neither are we creatures of our own personal culture. We’re continually moving back and forth between those two areas. I never had a strategy because I never felt alien from popular culture. You just set the thing up in the way you can handle it. I don’t have the kind of mind to do anything else. I think Irving Layton once described my mind as ‘unblemished by a single idea.’ I never had a plan. I had a certain kind of faith although. I would never have given that word to it. If the work was good enough or, more specifically, if the work was appropriate to move into the world, it would move into the world. There are certain kinds of work that stay with you. You don’t develop any kind of chip on your shoulder because that kind of work doesn’t move out or gain hundreds of admirers. I have a clear idea of the process, of a song say, in the popular realm. The world can use certain kinds of work at certain times and at certain times it can’t. quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen: Working for the World to Come (no author, date, or source given). Found at LeonardCohenfiles.

Note: Originally posted December 17, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Performing In Israel: “I feel a very special kind of nourishment. So, it is different. It is different because it arises from very deep wells of affiliation”

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 13, 2016: Leonard Cohen event for the release of his new album "You Want It Darker" on October 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Sony Music Canada)

Was it especially moving for you as a Jewish man to perform in Israel?

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Well, there’s a deep tribal aspect to my own nature. So, when I’m in contact with those deep resources, of course I feel a very special kind of nourishment. So, it is different. It is different because it arises from very deep wells of affiliation. quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen event for the release of his new album “You Want It Darker” on October 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California

Credit Due Department: Photo by Frank Micelotta/Sony Music Canada

Leonard Cohen On His Relationship To The Seven Deadly Sins In 1994 & 2016

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1994: Pick Five Words That Describe Yourself1

sn7sins
 

2016: Through the years, in both your music and your life, have you learned to get rid of the unnecessary, the vanity?2

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They seem to have gotten rid of me. No virtue on my part. Several of the seven deadly sins seem to have lost interest in this immobilized person.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

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  1. “Q Questionnaire – Leonard Cohen” Q Magazine: September 1994 []
  2. Le Dernier Empereur by J.D. Beauvallet and Pierre Siankowski. Les Inrocks: Oct 19, 2016 [from interview transcript] []

“I think the thing we like about a singer is that he’s really singing with his own voice. He’s not putting you on. That’s why people like me can get away with making records.” Leonard Cohen

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The Profits Of Doom by Steve Turner. Q Magazine: April 1988.

Credit Due Department:Photo by Ted McDonnell.

Note: Originally posted Oct 8, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On The Spiritual Aspect In Everybody’s Life: “You hear this other deep reality singing to you all the time”

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I know there’s a spiritual aspect to everybody’s life, whether they want to cop to it or not. It’s there, you can feel it in people—there’s some recognition that there is a reality that they cannot penetrate but which influences their mood and activity. So that’s operating. That activity at certain points of your day or night insists on a certain kind of response. Sometimes it’s just like: ‘You are losing too much weight, Leonard. You’re dying, but you don’t have to cooperate enthusiastically with the process.’ Force yourself to have a sandwich. What I mean to say is that you hear the Bat Kol. [The divine voice] You hear this other deep reality singing to you all the time, and much of the time you can’t decipher it. Even when I was healthy, I was sensitive to the process. At this stage of the game, I hear it saying, ‘Leonard, just get on with the things you have to do.’ It’s very compassionate at this stage. More than at any time of my life, I no longer have that voice that says, ‘You’re fucking up.’ That’s a tremendous blessing, really.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen Makes It Darker by David Remnick (New Yorker: October 17, 2016)